East Hastings + In The House, In A Heartbeat

A bit of advice to anyone wanting to base a post-apocalyptic around a couple of songs, similar to what Danny Boyle did with East Hastings (by Godspeed You Black Emperor!) for 28 Days Later in 2002:

Listen to both East Hastings and In The House, In A Heartbeat. Both are incredible instrumentals with mass amounts of raw energy and emotion to simply put the listener in a specific state of mind. Both come from the movie, and both are definitely worth the entire listen-through.

Joel

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For Those Who Don’t Learn From History: A Tale

I feel like I’ll be repeating myself here in a few paragraphs, but I don’t think I’ve formally talked about my second novel, For Those Who Don’t Learn From History. It’s been in production, if you will, since 2010, but I’ve really spent more time writing it out, than I have anything else. So, consider this a rather formal introduction to the book. (You can read the history of the book here.)

I am head over heels for this piece of fiction, and I am only in the very beginning stages. I could blame my love for post-apocalyptic fiction (and my desire to have my piece of work categorized under that genre) for my attachment to it. but honestly, I don’t know if that can even begin to cover the reasoning.

But, instead of boring you with my love for the genre, I’ll do you one better: I’ll actually tell you what my plans are and what you can expect.

For Those Who Don’t Learn From History is not simply another novel for me to write. No, my desire for this is to not only get published and signed, but to get recognized. While Dreaming Wide Awake was a decent shot at a first novel, all my creative juices are swarming to this post-apocalyptic book.

A work in progress.

Gritty, menacing and eerie is what I aim for. For some reason, too many pieces of fiction in this genre attempt at this, but fail. Not miserably, however. In fact, some authors would much rather go the survivalist route and focus solely on someone or a group of people as they fight for their lives from an ominous threat. Yet, that is the beauty of writing and fiction — especially with this genre. Anything you can come up with, you can put on paper. (Or, you know, your computer. Or phone.)

In a sense, this book is about surviving. When society has nothing left to show for, what does society do? When humanity crumbles down to its last resort, how will the world change in its final days? Opposite of what  28 Days Later accomplished, I want the look and feel of my own world to wear a facade of utter destruction and wear. I want my world to be both a safe haven, and also a living hell. I want my characters to live through the worst possible situations, only to arise with incredible results. (If such a phrase would exist in that type of world.)

Atmospheric connection is another thing most authors miss, which is a shame. To really ‘get’ a book, per say, the reader needs to not only connect with the characters, but understand the atmosphere and gratitude of the situation at hand. Especially with this genre, one of the greatest things I will be able to accomplish will be just that: creating such an atmosphere that is relatable, dark, unpleasant and gritty. An atmosphere where, just when all hope is lost with a character, your heart breaks and your world falls apart with him.

Overall — and it’s 6 AM now — my primary goal for this novel is to catch your attention in the greatest way possible. I cannot make myself sit back and write a so-so novel, while I could end up writing what gets me signed with a publishing agency. But most of all, I cannot sit back and let the project slip away. For two years now, I have been wanting to start this, an the opportunity is finally arising.

I’ll keep you updated much more often than I have in the past, and: thank you.

Joel

Spotify.

 

Since releasing in the United States last summer, Spotify has become one of all-time favorite applications on any device. While I love the ability to stream practically any song in history (which, trust me, I do), I think the best feature is one that lies under the hood — the ability to find a heap of new artists.

I am seriously amazed at how many new, great artists and bands I have come across since downloading the software last July. To name a few: Bon Iver (up until Spotify, I only liked/knew “Skinny Love”), The Temper Tramps, Christopher O’Riley and The Head and The Heart, amongst many others.

While finding new artists is always great, another super feature is the ability to share playlists. It’s with this feature that I have stumbled upon a superb playlist called, simply, “Writing”. I cannot say good enough things about this playlist. Honest to God, every single track is a blessing and I am forever going to use this for my writing time(s).

Because I am in such a musical mood, I insist you look at the playlist I’ve been using for For Those Who Don’t Learn From History and give at least a few of the songs a listen. They’re grand.

Cats and Dogs – The Head and The Heart

An Ending (Ascent) – Brian Eno

The Big Ship – Brian Eno

13 Ghosts II – Nine Inch Nails

Paradise Stars – Noah And The Whale

Get Your Truck/Flirt – Hal Hartley/Jeffery Taylor

Cherry – Ratatat

Takk – Sigur Ros

Amsterdam – Coldplay

Subterranean Homesick Alien (Radiohead piano cover) – Christopher O’Riley

First Ride – Don Ross

I Don’t Want to Set The World on Fire – The Ink Spots

Maybe – The Ink Spots

A Kiss To Build A Dream On – Louis Armstrong

For Emma – Bon Iver

Holocene – Bon Iver

Skinny Love – Bon Iver